Last week No Worries and I took out daughters to an Indian celebration at a business centre in Sydney. We were all looking forward to it as it meant that my wife and gals could have an excuse to dress up Desi style. I too decided to get into the spirit of things by dressing up in Indian clothes.
While my wife would be wearing a Salwar Kameez (aka Punjabi Suit), I decided to wear a Kurta Pyjama. To those who don't know, a Kurta Pyjama is a long shirt which has pants (trousers) underneath. My girls would complete the picture by wearing Lenghas (top and skirt). We were all looking forward to the event. The weather too was doing its best Indian impersonations as the mercury was hovering around the 36C mark.
We arrived at the business centre and made our way to the dancing as it was just about to start. The show was in two parts really. The first part was Bollywood style dancing while the second part was Bhangra - the music of the Punjabis. When the Bhangra music started there was a huge cheer from the crowd. To some it can appear that this style of music is very raucous. I refer to it as the heavy metal of Indian music. Some of the dance movements do indeed seem as if the dancers are changing a light bulb or three, or having had too many beers!
After the show we caught up with some friends and had a look around the centre. Unfortunately we had missed the Indian food. This didn't worry me too much as No Worries is an exemplary cook of all things from the sub-continent!
By now the gals were getting restless as the heat was taking its toll. I suggested taking them to a computer store down the road as I needed to purchase some software.
So we set off in the car to the store. As it was early December I had trouble finding a parking spot but eventually found one on the roof. We got out of the car and made our way to the store. Straight away I got some funny looks from shoppers. No, it was not because Santa or Brad Pitt was standing behind me either. It took a while before I realised that it was because of what I was wearing.
We entered the store and headed for the software section. It was obvious that we were getting more stares. I assumed that my olive style skin was giving a false impression, after all I was born in England. In fact, I have been called South American, Italian, Greek, Spanish and even Lebanese in the past! All of a sudden I felt a bit like an outcast. It's amazing how what you are wearing can influence people's opinions.
The store assistant was of Indian background and was not even concerned about my appearance. I did explain matter of factly that I had come from an Indian Festival. He didn't seem to care too much about that. Just then my phone rang. It was No Worries. I could hear my phone but couldn't work out which pocket it was in. The Kurta Pyjama has a number of pockets and I just couldn't work out where my phone was! To a passing stranger it might have appeared as if I had ants in my pants or I was doing a mystical Indian dance!
My daughters wanted to know if I was okay. I calmly answered that I was fine but couldn't find my phone! At this stage it was my actions that was bringing unwanted stares and not my clothes. Finally, I found the phone, making a mental note where I had kept it, and rang No Worries. She was just checking that we were fine. I told her that we were as we sheepishly made our way out of the car park.
A while later we left the business centre and called in on a friend and her husband on our way home. Coincidentally, our friend is of Indian background. We had a cup of chai and some Indian savouries before heading on our way. We got home a while later and tried to keep cool from the Indian style weather. It certainly had been an Indian type of day!